Seniors in Arklamiss gather for entertainment and politics - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Seniors in Arklamiss gather for entertainment and politics

Posted: Updated: May 9, 2013 06:33 PM

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - More than one 1,000 seniors gathered in West Monroe to celebrate "Older Americans Month" and they discussed important legislation that lawmakers are debating.

Senior Citizens from across Ouachita Parish packed the West Monroe Convention Center for a crawfish feast and entertainment was provided for this years "Older Americans Month" celebration.

"Our whole goal and mission in this is to let seniors know that they need to stay active and engaged and enjoy laughter and socialization," said Jeanette Ellington.

Seniors in attendance say they circle this day on their calendar every year because they have a blast.

"Everybody loves coming here and listen to the music, enjoy the food, enjoy the friendship, enjoy the gathering," said Allie Lovell.

"I try to go around and see the ones that I know and try to speak to them. Everyone seems to have a real good time," said Darlene Tippen.

Although everyone inside is having a fun time and enjoying the food, they are also thinking about some important issues that people in Baton Rouge are fighting for.

"House Bill one is being considered right now and House Bill 352 will be seen, just don't know what's going to happen with that," said Kathy Ray.

"Ouachita Parish has 26,000 seniors according to the new census. The last census we had 16,000 so you can see the huge growth. People are living longer and we need more money for funds because we are having more causes for services," said Jeanette Ellington.

"I think the people that go to Baton Rouge to fight for senior rights is a marvelous thing," said Allie Lovell.

With so many people surrounded by family and friends, eating crawfish, and advocates fighting for them on capitol hill, these seniors say life couldn't get much better.

There are more than 20,000 seniors in Arklamiss. On Tuesday a group of local seniors bussed to Baton Rouge where they met with lawmakers and encouraged them to vote for several different bills. Among those bills is one that was mentioned House Bill 352 that would create a Department of Elderly Affairs in Louisiana.

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